According to data from the 2014-2015 admissions season, Californian’s are facing even tougher admissions odds at UC campuses, while offers to out-of-state and international students are increasing.

The number of Californians accepted to a UC campus dropped by about 1,000, while the number of out-of-state acceptances rose by about 1,700. Acceptances for international students also rose by about 1,700. Overall, the UC system saw a record low acceptance rate of 60%, down from 63% the previous year.

While this news bodes well for non-Californians with their eyes on UC, it’s less than encouraging for California students hoping to take advantage of a top-notch education at a public school price.

My recommendations for Californian UC-hopefuls – study the admissions statistics and stay realistic about your chances at UC. A strong GPA and test scores aren’t the guarantees they once were. Cast a wide net and be open to the less competitive campuses like Riverside and Merced. Finally, don’t hesitate to look beyond the UC system – private schools may have a high sticker price, but some give very good financial aid. There are also many excellent colleges in the CSU system that offer very affordable tuition and much more accessible admissions.

For more about UC admissions, read the recent article in the LA Times.